Sunday, 26 June 2016, a combination of Bangladeshi and Hindu organization protested outside the United Nations to highlight the ongoing and increasing killings of minority non-Muslims and secularists in Bangladesh, as well as the infiltration of ISIS elements into the nation.
The event was attended by Justice For Hindus, The Bangladesh Minority Rights Movement, USA Committee For Secular & Democratic Bangladesh, Gonojagaran Mancha Combined Cultural Alliance, Maitre Foundation, Sampriti Manch, Udichi Cultural Groups, SriSriThakur Anukulchandra Satsang USA and others.
The nation of Bangladesh (BD) is a Muslim majority state which borders India to the Northeast, Islam is the state religion of Bangladesh. While the minority Hindus of Bangladesh have been experiencing intense and deadly persecution for decades, the intensity of violent crimes against non-Muslims and secularists has escalated recently with the influx of ISIS elements into the state.
In the past months, several Hindus and other non-Muslims have been either murdered, injured or humiliated by Muslim citizens with Islamist motives, and many of these crimes have been claimed by ISIS. Here are some examples of recent attacks on minorities in Bangladesh”
Hindu Priest Slaughtered In Bangladesh, ISIS claims responsibility – A 70-year-old Hindu priest was hacked to death in Bangladesh by three suspected Islamic State jihadists who nearly severed his head, the second priest from the community to be killed this year in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of brutal attacks by Islamists on minorities and secular activists. – DNA INDIA
Hindu Tailor hacked to death in Bangladesh; ISIS claims responsibility – Police in Bangladesh say they have detained three people in relation to the killing of a Hindu tailor, who was hacked to death in the central Bangladeshi district of Tangail. Those detained for questioning include two party members, one from the opposition BNP party and a local leader of the Jamaat e Islami Islamist. – CNN
Hindu teacher in Bangladesh beaten up, made to do sit-ups by holding ears for ‘insulting’ Islam – – Dhaka: In yet another incident of mob justice against minorities in Bangladesh, a Hindu headmaster of a school in Narayanganj was on Friday punished by locals for allegedly insulting Islam. Shyamal was being punished and made to do sit-ups holding ears, said that the punishment was the only way to save the latter from the mob. – Zee News
Bangladesh killings: Hindu teacher attacked at home – A Hindu college teacher in Bangladesh has been attacked on his doorstep by three men armed with knives, according to local police. He is critically ill in hospital. The assault, in the town of Madaripur, is the latest in a series of recent attacks on religious minorities, secular writers and academics. – BBC
Christian hacked to death in latest Bangladesh attack, claimed by ISIS – Dhaka (AFP) – A Christian was hacked to death after Sunday prayers near a church in northwest Bangladesh in an attack — the latest in a series on religious minorities — claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. – Yahoo
Elderly Buddhist monk HACKED to death amid surge of violence in Muslim-majority country – The body of 75-year-old Mongsowe U Chak was discovered today at the isolated place of worship in the Naikkhangchhari village, about 211 miles southeast of Dhaka, where he lived alone. The past few months have seen a huge rise in the number of violent attacks in Bangladesh, where the majority of the population is Muslim. – Express
Two gay rights activists hacked to death in Bangladesh; Al-Qaeda affiliate claims responsibility for attack – Two people, including the editor of a magazine for the transgender community, have been hacked to death in the capital of Bangladesh. A third person, a security guard at the apartment building where the killings took place, was seriously wounded in Monday’s attack in Dhaka, in which six attackers murdered Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Tonoy. Mannan was the editor of Rupban, the only LGBT magazine in the country. – Aljazeera
The Bangladeshi government has not only routinely failed to protect non-Muslim and secularists citizen in Bangladesh but also promotes Islamic nationalism. While Bangladesh claims to be a “secular democracy”, according to the Bangladesh constitution, Islam is the state religion, referencing both “Allah” and the “Koran”, and it is the state’s objective to: “consolidate, preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic solidarity.” – Hindu American Foundation Report
Until 2012, Hindu living in Bangladesh were subjected to discriminatory land practices and seizures of property under what was known as a series of “Enemy Property” and “Vested Property” acts. Under these discriminatory acts, more than 1 million Hindu households and millions of acres of Hindu owned lands were seized. While the Bangladesh government has since promulgated acts (2012 Vested Property Return Act) to return lands or compensate Hindu families, these measures have not been fully implemented and Hindu lands continue to be seized illegally by Islamist groups. – Hindu American Foundation Report
After the election of the Bangladesh Nation Party (BNP) in 2001, partly leaders and lawmakers instigated a 150 day pogrom against the Hindu minority which lead to 500,000 Hindus fleeing Bangladesh to take refuge in India, with more than 1000 Hindu women either being raped or gang-raped. Form 2013 to 2014, more than 1,500 Hindu temples were demolished, 302 minorities were killed, 5,050 minorities families were displaced from their homes, more than 3,000 Hindu homes were attacked, 585 shops were either attacked or looted, and nearly 300 rapes of minority women were reported. Islamist groups in Bangladesh have also begun creating “hit lists” against secular bloggers, many of whom have been killed. – Hindu American Foundation Report
Despite the influx of ISIS and accompanied violence into Bangladesh, the nation has also had a long tradition of its own homegrown Islamic terrorist outfits such as the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEL). JEL seeks to create a “Taliban style” regime in Bangladesh and garners recruits and funds through its control of Islamic schools (madrassas) and its student wing, the Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS). Both JEL and ICS have been accused of interacting with and supporting designated terrorist groups such as the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), the Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Al-Queda. In 2015, the JEL-ICS brought riots to the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, setting off some 20 bombs; an ICS crude bomb factory was discovered in the same year. Despite these activities, the Bangladesh government has not designated JEL or ICS as terrorist organization and has been unable or unwilling to curtail their activities. – Hindu American Foundation Report
The message brought to the United Nations by Bangladeshi and Hindu groups was clear, Bangladesh needs to curtail both its homegrown Islamic terrorist groups, as well as take measures to prevent the infiltration of ISIS within its borders. Bangladesh claims to be a secular democracy, but this is obviously not possible so long as Islam continues to be the state religion. Bangladesh must protect the non-Muslims and secular minorities within its borders, curtail terrorists organizations within the nation, and join the civilized world by repealing the Islamic elements of its constitution.